The DALROD sponsored Peterborough Phantoms returned to winning ways on Saturday evening with a 3-0 victory over the Bracknell Bees.
With the game being streamed live around the internet, fans from across the world were able to watch as goals from Darius Pliakauskas, Jason Buckman and Marc Levers secured the points for the Phantoms.
The hometeam started the stronger, with Alex Mettam in the Bees nets, being tested early on from a Pliskauskas shot that went just wide of the Bees post. At the other end Phantoms Janis Auzins was enjoying a quieter night with the Bees best effort early on coming from Lukas Smital whose shot flew just over Auzins bar.
When Cam McGiffin was called on a tripping penalty on 7 minutes, the Bees looked to make their man advantage count. The Bees powerplay unit controlled the puck, but as Frantisek Bakrlik broke into the Phantoms zone the puck was turned over to Darius Pliskauskas. As Pliskauskas broke away we was hooked back all the way through the Bees half by Lukas Smital, and referee Matt Thompson had no hesitation on calling a penalty shot. Pliskauskas skated the puck in, before firing the puck into the top corner, sending the water bottle flying and giving the Phantoms a 1 goal lead on 9.03.
Phantoms doubled their advantage just 40 seconds later, when Jason Buckman pounced on a loose puck and slotted it passed Mettam in the Bees net. The goal signaled a Bees timeout as Coach Craig Moran tried to settle things down.
Whilst the Phantoms controlled the game, the Bees looked to hot back on the breakaway with Milan Kostourek, Bakrlik and former Phantoms Callum Fowler all having chances to halve the deficit before the opening break, but all being stonewalled by Auzins.
A scrappy middle period saw both netminders kept busy as the Phantoms and Bees forwards pushed forward but without any real domination. Whilst the Bees were looking for the action around the Phantoms goal area, Phantoms seemed content to sit on their lead and fire in shots from long range.
A scoreless middle stanza, but that was exactly what Phantoms Coach Slava Koulikov would have expected. “Bracknell are always a tough team to play – even when they were at the bottom of the league last season,” said the Phantoms coach. “You have to expect a scrappy game against them and that was the case again tonight. We had guys playing smart, working hard and covering a lot of ice to close out that win.”
Marc Levers rounded off the victory with a goal just 61 seconds into the final period. Milan Baranyk broke free courtesy of an Edgars Bebris pass, and when his initial shot lead to a goalmouth scramble, it was Levers who managed to bury the puck in the net.
A few minutes later and Phantoms Greg Pick and Bees James Galazzi dropped the gloves at centre ice. As Pick moved in he skated into a peach of a left hook from Galazzi, straight to the temple which put the Phantoms D-Man down. Seeing his opponent was hurt, Galazzi didn’t throw any further punches and both players were assessed a 2+2 penalty for roughing.
As the clock ran down. Phantoms took their foot off the gas, as they looked towards their journey to Telford on Sunday. However, there was still time for Auzins to pull off the save of the game, when the stopped Lukas Smital’s breakaway attack and shot.
Man of the Match awards went to Jason Buckman for the Phantoms and Josh Tetlow for the Bees.